Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Paddle Fest II
Gary Simon

Gary, a retired attorney, is one of the original members of the Milwaukee paddling group. He has done it all and has earned all sorts of certifications. Eventually, he gravitated to racing and bought all sorts of those skinny boats in his quest for speed. Along the way, he studied the forward stroke and practiced and honed his skill. He added a kayak paddle attachment to his rowing machine, and his basement soon became the Simon's University of the Forward Stroke around here.This year, Gary did an on-water teaching session, and interest ran high. I cannot reduplicate all that he taught in this limited space. Suffice to say that he has developed an intricate understanding of this under-practiced technique and is able to convey by speech and example just what needs to be done to achieve an efficient forward stroke.Gary has been kind enough to mentor me (along with others) in this black art. I have "paddled" in his basement, and he has stood on the shores of the river to point out my weaknesses. One of the good guys, Gary Simon is giving back a great deal to our sport.

Paddle safe...

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